“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
- C.S. Lewis
I recently read a BuzzFeed Article entitled "43 Life-Changing Books You Need to Read," and it got me thinking about the books I've read that have shaped my life. I'll never forget the first time I finished a great book. The feeling is unlike anything else in the world. Reading immerses you in a different world, a different universe--when you come crashing down out of that new reality, the fall can be hard. My favorite example of this to look back and laugh at is thinking about finishing Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I was sitting in a hotel room with my parents and sister, and I closed the book and the tears started. My mom laughed and shook her head, undoubtedly thinking about how similar we are, while my dad looked on confused and tentatively asked, "Tatum, are you okay?" The answer, "It was just so good" confused him even more.
As far back as I can remember, I've loved to read. From the Frog and Toad books I devoured in kindergarten to the endless list of "must-reads" I've noted, my library card and I have been friends for a long time. I have so much respect for the storytellers of the world. I hate seeing the amount of pages left steadily decrease, but I have no self control. I can read a book in a day and completely forget that there's a real world around me--a real world that includes living people--and that maybe I should actually take a break from reading and have a real conversation.
One of the things that sometimes frustrates me about college is the lack of time for reading. Sure, we read articles and textbooks and the occasional novel for classes, but it's hard to break past the "ugh, I have to be reading this" barrier. I don't know what it is about assigned readings that annoy me, but I'm sure my fellow students of the world can relate. It's not even that I don't want to read, it's that the rebellious (lol) side of me wants to dig in my heels and read something, anything else. I know--I'm a bad-ass. Moving on.
To confront this internal dilemma of mine, I've got a new goal: replace Netflix with reading. Shocking words to hear from a college kid, I know, but I really think that this shift in priorities can only lead to good. It's so tempting at the end of a long day to sit in front of your laptop and zone out on an episode of The Office or Grey's Anatomy for an hour, and sometimes, you really do need Michael Scott's wisdom. But for me, there's something far more satisfying about making a cup of coffee and cracking open a good book. So cheers to reading, libraries, and library cards.